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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Visa Everywhere Lounge at South by Southwest

Entered in Technology


Visa identified the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival as a key opportunity to engage with an important audience. It was the first time in the company's history to have a presence at SXSW and wanted to show up in a big way. Visa was positioned as a digital leader bringing payment innovation to SXSW, deepened merchant partnerships using the "Everywhere Lounge," and attracted top talent.

The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival was seen as a key opportunity to engage with an important audience.

Objectives were:

Strategy and Execution

To achieve these objectives, Visa created the "Everywhere Lounge" to educate consumers on Visa's core product – Visa Checkout – and to position Visa as an innovative marketer and technology company.

Visa's Everywhere Lounge brought cutting-edge digital payments to SXSW, highlighting innovative ways to pay – Visa Checkout and Apple Pay. The space also provided consumers with incentives to demo payment products, engage with brand spokespeople and interact with multiple panels focused on innovation & technology.

The Everywhere Lounge also served as a backdrop for Visa's announcements, hosted panels and industry/influencer guests.

In the lead up to SXSW coordinated media outreach notified SXSW attendees that Visa would be participating in the event for the first time, shared the news about the Everywhere Lounge and drove people to attend, speak with Visa executives and participate in the exciting lineup of activity.

To keep audiences engaged throughout the entire festival, Visa created a jam-packed schedule of activities hosted at the Lounge.

The Lounge featured product demonstration zones so people could experience Visa Checkout and other cutting-edge digital payments like Apple Pay.

Visa brought sports and technology together at SXSW through a star-studded panel discussion with the NFL and San Francisco 49ers highlighting how Visa is bringing payment innovation to life through its NFL sponsorship and team relationships. The panel was strategically aligned with Visa's sponsorship renewal announcement, creating a timely news hook for media that were in attendance, in addition to national sponsorship, NFL and business media.

Visa's Everywhere Initiative tapped into the innovation community at SXSW and challenged them to pitch their best ideas on how to solve the digital marketing and communications challenges of tomorrow with the winner receiving funding from Visa to execute on their idea.

The Lounge held an interactive conversation on the rapidly evolving wearable health & connected fitness industry. Executives from Under Armour and MyFitnessPal joined Visa in a panel discussion about this wave of new innovation and share thoughts on where the industry is headed.

Visa partnered with BuzzFeed to host CMOs & marketing executives on a panel discussion about new media strategies and the evolution of brands for the millennial customer. The BuzzFeed BFF Clubhouse was an additional offsite space providing SXSW attendees another chance to demo Visa Checkout and unwind with food, games and live entertainment. The partnership was bolstered through a digital extension on, elevating the Everywhere Lounge to its own content hub.

Lastly, Visa tapped into the entertainment and pop culture space as the Everywhere Lounge played host to a surprise performance from John Legend and appearance by Brooklyn Decker.


Visa's activity at SXSW and the Everywhere Lounge garnered national media attention, with coverage appearing in USA Today, CNBC, Associated Press, AdWeek, Forbes,, Yahoo! News and AdAge. A total of 27 stories accounting for 235+ million media impressions throughout the week of the festival.

Additionally, Visa was mentioned across social media more than 3,200 times, totaling 2.5+ million social impressions.

Lastly, through its presence at SXSW, Visa secured strategic meetings with top brands and merchant partners to help extend its business growth.

*Please note video password is: VisaSXSW


Video for Visa Everywhere Lounge at South by Southwest

Entrant Company / Organization Name

FleishmanHillard, Visa Inc.


Entry Credits